LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Los Angeles police officer was seriously injured when an alleged drunk driver crashed into his patrol car on the shoulder of the San Diego (405) Freeway while he was outside the vehicle conducting a traffic stop on a speeding motorist, authorities said Tuesday.
The crash occurred at 11:47 p.m. Monday on the northbound freeway near Santa Monica Boulevard, California Highway Patrol Officer Tony Polizzi said.
The officer had just pulled over a speeding vehicle and was outside his patrol car when he suffered a serious leg injury, according to reports from the scene. The officer was hospitalized in unknown condition. An LAPD spokesman this morning declined to provide a condition report, citing privacy concerns.
"It was a close call,'' CHP Officer Vance Perreira told reporters at the scene. "Any time you operate on the right shoulder of the freeway, it's never safe.''
Perreira said CHP officers were driving in the area a short time after the crash occurred.
"They said it could have been about ... a minute after it happened,'' Perreira told news outlets. "They passed by, were first on scene, rendered aid, possibly saved his life.''
Officers then arrested the motorist, whose name was not immediately released.
All northbound lanes were closed until about 6 a.m., when two lanes were re-opened, the CHP reported. By about 7:30 a.m., all but one northbound lane had been re-opened. The remaining lane was re-opened a couple of hours afterward.
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